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Tennessee Volunteers vs MTSU Blue Raiders/UNC Asheville Bulldogs - Midweek Thread

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Two teams are in Knoxville this week before Kentucky visits.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Vols have returned home to Knoxville tonight as they open a six game home stand.  They spent this past weekend in Tuscaloosa, where they dropped two games against the Tide.

Last Friday the Vols started the series with Alabama quickly with Nick Senzel hitting a two run homer in the top of the first.  Leno Ramirez added an RBI single for the early 3-0 UT lead.  Alabama struck back in the third, scoring two.    The fifth inning saw four more Bama runners score, including three on a bases clearing triple.  They tacked on another run in the eighth for the 7-3 win.

The teams played a double header on Saturday in an attempt to dodge storms that were in the forecast for Sunday.  The Vols again took the lead first, with a Derek Lance RBI sacrifice fly in the 5th and a Benito Santiago RBI single in the sixth.  The Crimson Tide responded quickly though, scoring four in the bottom of the sixth and seven in the seventh to extend their lead.  The Vols loaded the bases in the ninth and tacked on another run on an RBI walk for Jackson before a ground out ended the game for the 11-3 loss.

The final game saw Tennessee jump to the early lead for the third time, with Chris Hall scoring on an error by the pitcher and Ramirez hitting an RBI single.  Chris Hall added an RBI single in the second for the 3-0 lead.  Alabama responded with a triple and RBI single in the sixth and a two RBI double in the seventh to tie it back up.  Chris Hall hit a two out RBI single in the top of the ninth to give the Vols the lead again.   Nick Senzel was intentionally walked to put two on for Vincent Jackson, who drilled a triple to right field to score two. The Tide put a runner on in the bottom of the frame but Tennessee secured the 6-3 win.

Tennessee leads the series against MTSU 33-23, however things have not been pretty for the Vols lately with the Blue Raiders winning six of the last seven meetings, including last year's sole meeting in Murfreesboro.  The Vols lead the series against UNCA 24-7 and defeated them in Asheville 7-3 a few weeks back.

MTSU is on a three game losing streak, dropping their three conference games at Western Kentucky this past weekend.  The weekend before saw them take one game against #15 Florida Atlantic before hosting #5 Vandy, who they defeated 7-4.

UNC Asheville have continued struggling since they hosted UT, winning only one game since then at Appalachian State.  This past week they were swept by Liberty University in Lynchburg.  They host USC Upstate Tuesday night before travelling to Knoxville to play the Wednesday game.

This weekend the home stand will continue as Kentucky comes to town.  After that Morehead State visits next Wednesday before a road trip for the Vols to South Carolina.

Tennessee Volunteers (14-9) (2-4 SEC) vs MTSU Blue Raiders (12-12) (1-5 C-USA)

Date: Tuesday March 29, 2016

First Pitch: 6 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, TN

Live Audio: UTSports / Live Stats: GameTracker

Probable Starting Pitchers: UT RHP Eric Freeman (1-1, 3.51 ERA) vs MTSU RHP Sam Alton (2-1, 6.16 ERA)

Tennessee Volunteers (14-9) (2-4 SEC) vs UNC Asheville Bulldogs (5-18) (0-6 OVC)

Date: Wednesday March 30, 2016

First Pitch: 6 p.m. ET at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Knoxville, TN

Live Audio: UTSports / Live Stats: GameTracker

Probable Starting Pitchers: UT LHP Alex Harper-Cook (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs UNCA TBA

Players to Keep an Eye on:

School Pos Name BA RBI R HR SB-A
UT 3B Nick Senzel .341 29 30 2 9-10
UT 1B Jordan Rodgers .297 37 17 3 6-6
UT OF Vincent Jackson .321 27 22 4 4-5
UT OF Chris Hall .375 12 22 0 2-2
MTSU SS Riley Delgado .393 8 14 0 1-2
MTSU OF Brad Jarreau .274 12 11 3 3-4
MTSU OF Austin Dennis .247 16 11 0 1-3
MTSU OF Blake Benefield .239 10 9 3 0-0
UNCA OF Joe Tietjen .394 28 17 4 0-2
UNCA DH Pete Guy .233 15 19 6 0-1
UNCA 1B Danny Wilson .263 11 12 0 1-1
UNCA OF Kyle Carruthers .292 8 9 0 3-3
School Arm Name ERA WHIP K BAA W-L (S)
UT RHP Eric Freeman 3.51 1.48 20 .291 1-1
UT LHP Alex Harper-Cook 0.00 1.50 0 .286 0-0
UT RHP Jon Lipinski 5.68 1.42 10 .255 1-0 (3)
MTSU RHP Sam Alton 6.16 2.11 22 .316 2-1 (1)

Go Vols!